Migrants in Germany

Monday, October 26, 2015

If you pay any attention to the news at all you know that Europe and Germany (and Sweden) in particular now have a large influx of migrants, apparently about a million extra in Germany over the past two months or so. Lots of them from Syria, but also other countries who saw the opportunity to join in and took it.

Since I'm not in Germany and am not really keeping that close track of the situation I can't add much more to that, but I have noticed an increase in effort by certain groups to improve German-language courses. Duolingo started work on its German for Arabic speakers course in September, a site called Language Transfer (seems a lot like the Michael Thomas method from the two minutes I listened) has made German a top priority, and I can't imagine that Deutsche Welle and the Goethe-Institut are just sitting around on their hands. Let me know if there is anything else worth noting re: German courses and the influx of migrants.

So ideally (and I'm not saying it will just work out this way but here's hoping) it would mean that German gets an extra million plus speakers in just a year or two.


Italy's Vivarium Novum is still doing great

I think I wrote about this program a few times a few years ago, and it seems to be doing even better than ever, reaching a level where prospective students have to be turned away now.

I found the part about the Malawi government selecting someone to attend the most interesting:
“Humanist languages are not archaeological relics,” argues Miraglia. “They’re a key to all fields of knowledge. They open up the mind. Latin is the mother tongue of our civilization and humanism is the key to peace and tolerance. The crisis of modern language is the crisis of today’s world. If you neglect your past, how can you understand the present, and most of all the future?” 
Chikondi Medson, 20, comes from a Zulu village in Malawi, where his father earned 60 cents a day. His country’s government selected him to attend the academy for his outstanding academic skills. 
“In Homer’s works I find so many rituals and values of my own community. Like when Aeneas transports the dead body of his beloved father Anchises, that part of ‘The Iliad’ really hit me,” he said. “I was moved.”


Germany's Final Days of Peace is done

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Well, it was done a week ago. Yesterday my copy arrived in the mail and now that I can confirm that it looks as good as I had hoped, I can give the link to where it can be bought.


(or just go to that page and click on the like button, that helps too)

A quick shot of two pages in the book just now using a laptop camera:

and me holding it earlier:

So looks like I can get back to updating here more frequently.

Parts 2 and 3 will depend on how well this one does, since a translation really is an endurance-based task, and once it's done then the question is whether people in the target language are going to want to read it. Sometimes I wonder whether this isn't a really niche book to translate, but then again books like this one on the leadup to the Great War have done great, and this book is from the same era.

Now, a book on the leadup to the Franco-Prussian war, or the politics of the Deutscher Bund? That one probably wouldn't sell.



Catalonia election again

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Anyone that pays attention to the news will already know about this, but Catalonia is having an election today that could be very consequential.

On a related note, one of the reasons I haven't really given Catalan much attention (besides a general liking of it) is that it isn't officially spoken by a country besides Andorra. Were it to have been a country since I was born I could see myself having learned it before a large number of other Romance languages, since it's the one with the most in common with all the others. Like the Slovak of Romance languages, or a naturally occurring pan-Romance IAL.

That said, since I've never been to Spain or Catalonia I'll just refrain from giving a preference on today's outcome.


New book's title is Germany's Final Days of Peace

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

And it's from French. I have still a week or two of proofreading left to go, then lots of formatting and images, but have made the first chapter into a sample, a pdf that you can view here.

By the way, the images of Germany in 1912 I uploaded a lot of last year are from this book.


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